Pickens, West Virginia
Located in the remote forests of Randolph County, West Virginia, Pickens was founded in the 1890s. The community was named after James Pickens Jr., the original owner of the town site. Pickens became a booming town quickly. By the turn of the century, the town boasted Presbyterian, Baptist, and Catholic churches, a number of stores, a funeral home, several hotels, a saloon, a sawmill and a railroad. Lumber and coal mining industries drove Pickens’ economy in the late 1930s.
While the industrial movement in Pickens has reduced significantly, lumber and coal had a significant affect on the people of Pickens. Residents maintain a fierce pride in their self-sufficiency even decades after the railroad tracks were torn out and the lumberyards emptied.
The town has the distinction of being the wettest place in West Virginia receiving more than 66 inches of precipitation yearly, much of it in snowfall. Pickens is the home of the West Virginia Maple Syrup Festival. Today, Pickens has a population of a little over 65 people.